Personally, I know that I lack the ability to focus on one thing for very long. I bounce from topic to topic every day as new issues develop and new questions arise. Authors commit months, or even years, to one subject when writing a book. Their ability to make that time commitment is so amazing to me. So, what about a plant breeder that spends years developing the next great variety of corn, soybean, wheat, canola, or peas?
The patience and dedication of plant breeders is so overlooked.
Last Friday, I noticed a tweet by Dr. Richard Cuthbert, an AAFC wheat breeder at Swift Current, SK.
He tweeted – “Love wheat breeding”
Love wheat breeding ? ? ? pic.twitter.com/XJsoF8REEA
— Richard Cuthbert (@wheat_dr) July 27, 2018
It got me thinking about the focus and determination of a plant breeder who always has to be thinking about the next trait, disease or pest issue. In other words, what the farmer will need.
For many of us, what we see is the face of the seed retailer, the seed company rep, that shiny bag of seed, or the nicely treated seed flowing into our semi trailer before planting. More often we should think, too, of the plant breeder that spent 10 or more years slugging it out in the greenhouse and lab, in order to bring that new variety to life. The dedication and focus from the plant breeders in our industry should not go unnoticed.
People like Rob Graf, Bill Legge, Peter Franck, Francis Glenn, Jim Helm, Ron Depauw, Eric Gagnon, or Brian Rossnagel, just to name a few, have all made massive contributions to the farmers’ bottom line. There are many more unnamed scientists, technicians, and assistants that have dedicated their lives to ensuring you have the best genetics on your farm.
I say, “thank you,” to the plant breeders, making agriculture better with every cross, every plot, every co-op trial, and every new variety release.